The Star Wars saga is the most iconic film franchise of all time. Everyone knows what Star Wars is. It’s pervaded our public consciousness for nearly 40 years now—you have to try really hard not to be aware of this franchise, whose humble beginnings lie in a young filmmaker trying to make a Flash Gordon ripoff. Little did George Lucas know that with the original Star Wars, he was jumpstarting not only a widely beloved feature film franchise, but also originating an entire universe that folks would pore over, debate, and expand upon for years to come.
While Lucas intended Star Wars to be three separate trilogies, he decided to sell off his stories and hand over the reigns to someone else to bring the final three episodes—VII, VIII, and IX—to fruition. The team behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens eventually opted to craft their own trilogy and leave much of Lucas’ plan behind, but the spirit of Star Wars lives on, and the now Disney-owned Lucasfilm has plans to continue the Star Wars saga for many more years to come.
But as we enter this new era, now seems like an opportune time to revisit the films that started it all and to see how the new Lucasfilm efforts—The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story—fit into the franchise as a whole. Behold, every Star Wars movie ranked.